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Six performers currently garnering awards buzz for their work in 2021 independent films will appear on AFI Fest’s eighth annual Indie Contenders Panel — as always, presented by The Hollywood Reporter and moderated by yours truly — to discuss the challenges and rewards of making independent movies: Caitriona Balfe (supporting actress, Focus’ Belfast), Nicolas Cage (lead actor, Neon’s Pig), Colman Domingo (supporting actor, A24’s Zola), Ann Dowd (supporting actress, Bleecker Street’s Mass), Dakota Johnson (supporting actress, Netflix’s The Lost Daughter) and Simon Rex (lead actor, A24’s Red Rocket).
This year’s AFI Fest will run Nov. 10-14. For the second year in a row, the 75-minute Indie Contenders Panel will take place virtually. Footage of the entire conversation will debut on AFI Fest’s Eventive platform Saturday, Nov. 13, at 1 p.m. PT, and will subsequently be made available on this website.
The 2020 edition of the panel, which you can watch here, featured Riz Ahmed (lead actor, Sound of Metal), Rachel Brosnahan (lead actress, I’m Your Woman), Winston Duke (lead actor, Nine Days), Julia Garner (lead actress, The Assistant), Vanessa Kirby (lead actress, Pieces of a Woman), Elisabeth Moss (lead actress, The Invisible Man and Shirley), Carey Mulligan (lead actress, Promising Young Woman) and Andy Samberg (lead actor, Palm Springs).
The 2019 edition, which you can watch here, featured Awkwafina (lead actress, The Farewell); Sterling K. Brown (supporting actor, Waves); Cynthia Erivo (lead actress, Harriet); Jimmie Fails (lead actor, The Last Black Man in San Francisco); Jon Hamm (supporting actor, The Report); Florence Pugh (lead actress, Fighting With My Family and Midsommar); Kerry Washington (lead actress, American Son); and Alfre Woodard (lead actress, Clemency).
The 2018 edition, which you can watch here, featured Willem Dafoe (lead actor, At Eternity’s Gate); Richard E. Grant (supporting actor, Can You Ever Forgive Me?); Kathryn Hahn (lead actress, Private Life); Felicity Jones (lead actress, On the Basis of Sex); Joanna Kulig (lead actress, Cold War); Thomasin McKenzie (supporting actress, Leave No Trace); Rosamund Pike (lead actress, A Private War); and John C. Reilly (lead actor, Stan & Ollie and The Sisters Brothers).
The 2016 edition, which you can watch here, featured Kate Beckinsale (lead actress, Love & Friendship); Adam Driver (lead actor, Paterson); Sally Field (lead actress, Hello, My Name Is Doris); Rebecca Hall (lead actress, Christine); Margo Martindale (supporting actress, The Hollars); Viggo Mortensen (lead actor, Captain Fantastic); Ruth Negga (lead actress, Loving); Chris Pine (lead actor, Hell or High Water); and Miles Teller (lead actor, Bleed for This).
The 2015 edition, which you can watch here, featured Ramin Bahrani (writer-director, 99 Homes); Blythe Danner (lead actress, I’ll See You in My Dreams); Saoirse Ronan (lead actress, Brooklyn); Jason Segel (supporting actor, The End of the Tour); Sarah Silverman (lead actress, I Smile Back); Lily Tomlin (lead actress, Grandma); and Olivia Wilde (lead actress-producer, Meadowland).
And the 2014 edition, which you can watch here, featured J.C. Chandor (writer-director, A Most Violent Year); Damien Chazelle (writer-director, Whiplash); Marion Cotillard (lead actress, Two Days, One Night); Jake Gyllenhaal (lead actor, Nightcrawler); Bill Hader (lead actor, The Skeleton Twins); Michelle Monaghan (actress, Fort Bliss); Kristen Stewart (supporting actress, Still Alice and Clouds of Sils Maria); and Tilda Swinton (lead actress, Snowpiercer).
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